Reviewed

Launch Of Clue HQ: The Live Escape Game

Last week #MyLeicester was invited to the launch of the UK’s biggest escape game network Clue HQ! Now if you haven’t heard of escape games… first of all, where have you been? Second of all, you’ve come to the right place to find out. We were eagerly awaiting the opportunity to finally visit Clue HQ and try the games out. I must say, it was an incredible experience. But let’s start from our arrival…

01

We got to the headquarters at 6pm where we were greeted by the friendly and welcoming owners. There were lots of people already there. The atmosphere was incredible, the family love was in the air and you could feel the mutual excitement of its opening. Down the road came a Lamborghini Aventador. Yes, a Lambo – a rose gold chrome Lambo. The effort that’s put into the launch of any new business is what determines its success and we honestly believe they’re fully equipped to be the best escape games host in Leicester!

03

The ribbon was cut and we all piled in excited to get into the games. At this point everyone was super excited, we kept getting closer and closer to experiencing the rooms but before we did we were surprised once again… FOOD! Who doesn’t love free food? They definitely treated us well.

05

After food, it was on to the games. I can’t share much with you without ruining it, but we had such a great laugh! There were 6 of us in a team and we chose to escape Cell Block C. The love for Prison Break is clearly mirrored in our choice. This is the brief we were given before entering the room:

“You’ve been framed for a crime you didn’t commit, and you’re about to be sentenced to a lifetime in prison. You know that notorious criminal Danny Badd is responsible but with only 60 minutes before you face the barrister, you don’t have the resources to prove your innocence. Can you escape top security CELL BLOCK C and buy yourself some time or will you be locked away forever?”

Who said you need blueprints tattooed on your body to escape prison?!

We honestly had such a great time trying to escape Cell Block C, even though we unfortunately didn’t escape, we were so close! We’ll definitely be back to redeem ourselves.

07

Puzzle after puzzle, lock after lock, each pieced together to escape the room, Clue HQ challenges the mind with a range of small ingenious tasks to successfully crack the bigger puzzle at hand. The greatest thing about escape games is its diversity. It doesn’t have to be a family tackling the game, or a bunch of friends. It would be great for the corporate world, team building activities that act as ice breakers or even for education, exploring the ins and outs of problem solving!

Check out their website to find out more about their games, bookings and escape rooms:

http://cluehqleicester.co.uk/

Discover

L Stands for Local in Leicester Fashion Week

Local designers proved that Leicester is more than ready to take on the world of fashion as Leicester fashion week hits the city.

Behind the glitter and glamour that is fashion week, a whole range of Leicester based designers showed that months of hard work does pay off.

Although one night got cancelled due to complications with the venue, Leicester fashion week went on for three nights, amazing each audience with just as much high fashion and quality designs as the next.

Providing intimate showings for the population of Leicester, innovation and quirkiness alongside classical work and elegance are words that best sums up the fashion lines that walked down the runway.

A spokesperson for the event said: “Leicester Fashion Week 2016 brings a high energy week that puts Leicester on the agenda with the fashion followers and the media, whilst exploring fashion in its many guises with national and international brands joining the show alongside local designers.”

Being a part of the official media partner, #MyLeicester, was a great opportunity and gave me the chance to talk to all the designers, models and members of the public that attended the event.

Without this chance, I would have never been able to experience this glorious event and sit on the front row of Leicester’s grandest fashion event.

If you have any stories or pictures that you want to share about Leicester you can contact #MyLeicester on [email protected] or visit their website [www.myleicesterblog.com] to find out what’s going on in the community.

Photo courtesy of @AshokSurenPhotography on behalf of #MyLeicester

Discover

Leicester Fashion Week

Fashion Week landed in Leicester and I must say I was excited! I wouldn’t class myself as stylish or fashionable, but when the spring and autumn Fashion Weeks come around; I am in sheer awe of the collections launched across the world. The highlight for me is probably always Paris Fashion Week, simply because Elie Saab and Valentino are two of my all time favourite designers.

On Friday 21st October 2016 I had the opportunity to attend Leicester’s very own Fashion Week at the Mercure Grand Hotel.

Photo Credit: @ashoksurenphotography
Photo Credit: @ashoksurenphotography

The venue itself seemed appropriate for an evening filled with classic, intricately designed collections. I attended the event as a member of the #MyLeicester team, the official media partners for the event and was accompanied by other members, most of whom I’d never met before, so it’s safe to say I was nervous, first impressions count and all that! In all honesty, I had no idea this event was even taking place until it was brought up by #MyLeicester. At first, I was a little nervous to work with so many members of the #MyLeicester team because it was something new to us all. Luckily, everyone was friendly and just as eager to enjoy the event as I was. We seemed to all naturally follow each other’s creative flow and understand each person’s style. By the end of the night, we were finishing each other’s sentences and laughing about inside jokes! It was almost as if we’d known each other for years.

That evening I was the designated videographer, something I have never done before, even being a media student, as you can probably guess, it was quite nerve-racking! I was excited to be able to capture all the hustle and bustle of a fashion show, all the distinctive collections, the bright lights of photographers quickly snapping the models as they posed effortlessly.

Pre-show there was a red carpet, on which we got to meet and interview some of the most incredible people including models, designers and the public who were just eager to see what the show had to offer. One of which was the designer from Bizzle Clothing, who promised a collection full of colour and no black. What particularly caught my attention was her outfit. Being a designer, she explained that she hadn’t really had the chance or the time to find something, along side this she was pregnant, which in itself made the clothing hunt a real struggle! However, this didn’t stop her, she managed to make an interpretation of Miley Cyrus’s Wrecking Ball in her outfit.

Photo Credit: @ashoksurenphotography
Photo Credit: @ashoksurenphotography

For me, this is what Fashion Week was about, unique and wacky outfits that capture creativity.

The entire show was filled with such a massive variety of different collections, from cashmere to sequins galore; there truly was something for everyone. The runway show had a full house of spectators eagerly waiting to see what striking creation the next designer had for them. In between some of the runway shows there were a few musical performances, which spilt the evening nicely providing the audience with a chance to grab refreshments and enjoy the entertainment.

For me, one of the standouts had to be Donna Marina,  her collection inspired by “the glittering lights of Ibiza night life, colorful Ibiza sunset canvas prints, the earlier 30’s evening glamour dress.” The collection was filled with bold colours, sequins and long flowing gowns.

Photo Credit: @ashoksurenphotography
Photo Credit: @ashoksurenphotography
Photo Credit: @ashoksurenphotography
Photo Credit: @ashoksurenphotography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before the show began, I got to look through the Okayla collection, this sport/active wear collection aimed to infuse the designers inspiration from Hong Kong into casual comfy sportswear that can be worn daily. The collection included metallic joggers, floral dresses and quilted bombers, truly something for everyone!

Overall, the experience of Leicester Fashion Week was something unique and different. Being the first Fashion Week I’ve ever attended I had no idea what to expect, but it lived up to the expectations of striking collections and stand out performances from some up coming artists. This once in a lifetime opportunity meant I was able to get an inside look at what some of the designers in and near Leicester were creating. I definitely look forward to what next years Fashion Week brings!

Photographs courtesy of Ashok Suren on behalf of the #MyLeicester team.

Discover Eateries

Dolce & Verde

Last week Dolce & Verde invited #MyLeicester to their VIPDV Launch. Let me start by telling you how nervous I was to go…

The rest of the #MyLeicester team were busy fulfilling other duties, so it ended up being only me available. First of all, it was a daunting situation; I didn’t know who else would be there, what the evening was about, what to expect etc. After getting to grips with the whole ‘lone ranger’ on a mission idea I was pretty ready for it. Until I got there 15 minutes early – 4:45pm to be exact – and didn’t know what to do. I’m sure you’ve all been in an awkward situation where you’re early and have nothing to do so you just wait awkwardly around the corner from the destination, pretending to be busy or waiting for someone – just doing anything that would mean you’re not extra early or seemingly over eager. I now realised punctuality wasn’t always a good thing!

The time killing wasn’t hard, when you’re in town there’s always something to do. Dolce & Verde is located on Belvoir Street, down the road from BHS, a few doors away from Las Iguanas and just round the corner from Dolce & Verde is Whipee Gelato so I knew where I was. I went for a bit of a stroll to the city centre and got back with a few minutes to spare. At this point I saw more people were inside Dolce & Verde so I decided to go for it.

First impressions are very important in any business, more so in eateries – a cleaner place means better hygiene. It’s a lovely place to walk into; the subtlety of the theme makes it a place you can feel comfortable in. It’s not overly decorated, a lot of thought and personality has been put into the interior.

The site before any work had been done.
The site before any work had been done.

It took four days for Harry and Lizzy (the founders of Dolce & Verde) to sand the new plasterwork!

Harry hard at work.
Harry hard at work.

A lot of hard work, heart and motivation was required to make the place as amazing as it is now, it always feels so much more rewarding doing all the work yourself, even though it is tiring – like they say ‘no pain no gain’. If you look closely you can even see the doodles of where they planned for other interior additions. After weeks of planning, sanding and working the shop was finally done! Here’s what it looked like, unfurnished.

The unfurnished interior.
The unfurnished interior.

The theme is heavily influenced by Scandinavian styles and personal taste – the founders actually went on a road trip to continental Europe; visiting Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, the list goes on. They have literally made their speciality coffee shop from scratch to provide their customers with an unforgettable experience in all ways possible. Whilst I was there I couldn’t shy away from the fact that it felt homely. The atmosphere in the shop is sensational, I didn’t want to leave. Those two hours flew by so quickly, the coffee and snacks definitely played their part in the experience!

On walking in I was greeted by one of the lovely baristas who then went on to make me a Mocha. There’s a certain artistic element when making a good cup of coffee; the bar is raised even more when you go to a Speciality Coffee Shop like Dolce & Verde. I for one expect quality… I wasn’t disappointed. Getting a Mocha right takes skill, balance, knowing the right quantities of every variable. I’m very pleased to say this is the first time I have never had to add sugar into a Mocha. The taste was the perfect blend of coffee to chocolate and I found out their secret. A lot of coffee shops use cocoa powder and other chocolate substitutes, not Dolce & Verde; they use real chocolate chips! When Lizzy told me this my face lit up, I never realised how much of a difference that would make to the beverage. Dolce & Verde are officially my number one coffee shop for a Mocha.

Dolce & Verde are also home to a custom made Conti Monte Carlo. It is a beast in the coffee world; if you know, you know. There’s a lot of competition in Leicester for coffee shops that aren’t mainstream. Harry and Lizzy aren’t just business entrepreneurs, they like the fact that there are more and more speciality coffee shops – it’s a competitive market but everyone brings something different. At Dolce & Verde they take pride in the fact that they offer speciality coffee but also that everything is freshly made to order. The quality of everything they offer to customers is their main priority. It’s for this very reason they also offer vegan, gluten free and dairy free products.

More and more people are adapting to healthier diets. The coeliac and gluten free market is also a lot larger than people believe it to be – for this reason Dolce & Verde have chosen to provide the ultimate experience for all of their customers to feel comfortable and enjoy their dining experience. The most popular vegan option they offer is the Green Machine Salad which comprises of mixed seasonal leaves, peppers, avocado and cous cous dressed with lemon and extra virgin olive oil. They also offer a selection of seasonal cake slices, as well as fresh filling salads such as the Goat’s Cheese Salad, served with bright peppers and balsamic glaze. There are still a lot of resources they haven’t explored to meet the dietary needs for everyone, which they are continuously looking to expand on.

Harry and Lizzy have based a lot of the services they offer to their customers on what they wanted from coffee shops. They’ve taken it to new personal heights. As a student if you’re offered free wifi, 25% off and have access to speciality coffee and freshly made food, what more could you ask for? The discounts don’t stop there…

Dolce & Verde are an eco-friendly shop; it’s in the name (Dolce means Sweet, Verde means Green) and it’s in their partnership with Future Cycles. If you have a bike serviced at Future Cycles you get 10% discount on the coffee and vice versa. Dolce & Verde even have a bike on show on their wall – it doesn’t get much cooler than that!

Dolce & Verde are establishing an exciting partnership with DMU for students and in November, Dolce & Verde will be hosting the East Midlands Barista Championship. More details will be released closer to the time.

If you want to visit a place with great character, wonderful people, fresh food and speciality coffee – Dolce & Verde is the place to be.

Discover

#LeicesterStays

Leicester has opted to #StandTogether on Tuesday 28th June, 5pm to 9pm at Jubilee Square.

As has been a big topic of discussion this past week, narrow Leicester voted to stay in the EU. Stand Together is our mark of showing that – in consideration of the EU Referendum result – we stand alongside the people of Europe to show we are inclusive, open and patient to all, regardless of age, gender, race, demography, location, and whether they voted Leave or Remain.

The importance of this Stand Together Leicester is highlighted by an email sent by a Leicester University student:

“Thanks a lot for organizing this. I’m a EU PhD student at Leicester Uni. Since Friday, we’re very worried and afraid for the future of our personal lives and careers. Thanks a lot. I just cried with joy when I saw this was organized by a UK citizen. Thanks for your solidarity.”

Stand Together is a celebration of Leicester, the UK and Europe, so we are asking people to bring:
– A flag of your country
– National dress
– Banners and signs
– Music
– Games
– Food to share
– Anything else that promotes connectedness.

Most importantly we want people to come along, bring friends and family and take a stand, together.

Moving forward, we want to come together to understand and educate ourselves on how the Leave decision can create a positive environment for all people – regardless of age, gender, race, demographic, location, and their Leave or Remain vote.

You can find our event on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1234426656569010/

Additional information

These are the principles along which this and all the other Stand Together events will proceed:

Participation: This is an event for all, and so all are welcome.
Positivity: we promote positivity around the referendum, not wishing to blame, and always with the mindset of wanting to find creative ways of looking to the future. We do not base prejudice based a person’s decision to vote.
Leave no trace: we want to commit to leaving no physical trace of our presence after we gather – and so clean up after ourselves.
Non-partisan politics: We believe healthy debate with the political system is vital, however this is not a space for partisan politics. We don’t believe one party or politician has all of the answers, and we don’t expect them to. Instead, uniting with a single message of positivity.

What is this?
This isn’t a protest for a second referendum, or a protest about the Leave vote. It’s a chance to come together, show unity, and reflect.

We will be gathering on Tuesday night in Jubilee Square to reflect, discuss, and connect.

Why?
There’s been much sorrow and anger after the referendum result. Whilst understandable, we believe it’s now time to come together.

It’s sad also to think that some people across Europe now think of Britain as non-inclusive, closed and inward-looking. We believe that Britain is better than that.

We believe that the best way forward is to try to understand people’s emotions and reasonings, allowing for a space to reflect on the past and the actions leading to the referendum outcome. In doing so, we hope to help change the dialogue from something negative and divisive to one of hope.

We want to stand in solidarity with the entirety of the UK and Europe to say we’re here, we’re open, and wanting to understand how best to go forward in a positive manner.

We have invited UK and Europe to stand with us, and as such there are a number of other events happening to reflect this idea.

For further information please contact:
Su Strange
07909 661372
[email protected]

This event is one of multiple Stand Together events across the country.

Other Stand Together events:
#ManchesterStays; https://www.facebook.com/events/1044046729022694/
#LondonStays; https://www.facebook.com/events/1671704409745795
#OxfordStays: https://www.facebook.com/events/559875920881119/
#CardiffStays: https://www.facebook.com/events/1809240625973562/
#LiverpoolStays: https://www.facebook.com/events/115764592186546/
#CambridgeStays: https://www.facebook.com/events/892607070884452/
#BristolStays: https://www.facebook.com/events/1716224655310437/

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